New Research Basically Confirms Misery Loves Company When It Comes To Hangovers

by Julia Guerra

What's better than being drunk in love? Drunk in friendship! According to new research, it turns out hangovers are part of the social experience of drinking, so start with straight shots, and then bond over all the empty bottles sprawled across your desk in the morning (if that's your thing, of course).

According to the study, which was published in the academic journal The Conversation and conducted by the University of Bath's team of researchers as well as MSc Health Psychology student Maddie Freeman, researchers were able to conclude that after 18 hours of intoxication, adolescent rodents engaged in more social interaction than adults, which aligns with the belief that younger people are more social through a hangover than, say, their parents might be.

According to the research, two phases of drinking exist.

Alcohol is a depressant drug, but anyone who's experienced a buzz can vouch for it also having the ability to lift your spirits. Otherwise referred to as the “ascending limb,” this is the duration of time where alcohol can insight positive emotions and a euphoric mood as a result of heightened blood alcohol levels.

Unfortunately, what goes up, must come down, and following the ascending limb comes the “descending limb,” or the dip in blood alcohol concentration that is a literal buzz kill, making you feel tired and moody. I don't know anyone who actually enjoys waking up to a splitting headache, a spinning room, and nausea threatening your every move, but according to college students, the physical effects of a hangover aren't enough of a reason to stop drinking.

Communal hangovers can be a bonding experience.

It may not be the best thing for you, but I think we can all agree there's nothing like the taste of a bagel lathered up with cream cheese and warm cup of coffee to sop up the remaining alcoholic juices in your stomach the morning after. As is the case with drinking, food brings people closer together. Combine the two and you're in for one hell of a bonding experience.

There was a bagel shop across the NJ/NY state border close to my campus, so it wasn't uncommon to see a line of college students filing out the door on Friday-Sunday mornings. Maybe it's because I'm not much of a drinker myself, but the shared agony we all felt waiting to order breakfast are some of my favorite memories.

Even the physical side affects aren't so bad when you're not enduring them alone.

What better way is there to distract yourself from a massive hangover headache than swapping stories to decipher what actually went down the night before? According to the study, a "we're all in this together" attitude is what gets young people through the morning after woes.

Researchers told The Conversation:

Hangovers were viewed as a continuation of the socializing from the previous evening, which included reminiscing about drunken activities from the night before. Similar to the adolescent rats engaging in social behaviors such as play fighting while hungover, it appears that for younger drinkers a hangover is part of the social experience of drinking.

This isn't to say you should go out and get smashed tonight with a few girlfriends for some serious bonding time - chilling on the couch watching Netflix is all well and good, too. But, like the Beatles said, you get buy with a little help from your friends, so the next time your BFF suggests bar hopping, at least you'll have a buddy to call when the morning feels blurry.